About Cornea Transplants
If you have corneal disease or trauma, the team at Chu Vision Institute in Bloomington, MN can offer help to improve your eye health with a corneal transplant. This ocular surgery involves precisely excising the damaged corneal tissue, followed by replacing it with a healthy donor sample. Board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Ralph Chu can offer a full- or partial-thickness corneal transplant, depending on the stage of your condition. To conduct the most effective transplant procedures that produce ideal outcomes, Dr. Chu and his staff use some of the most advanced surgical technologies and cutting-edge techniques. We offer the following cornea transplant methods:
- Partial-thickness corneal transplant (DSEK):
Descemet's stripping endothelial keratoplasty, or DSEK, is a type of partial-thickness corneal transplant in which damaged endothelial cells are removed and replaced with a healthy donor sample. DSEK uses a much thinner layer of tissue and generally has a shorter recovery time than full-thickness transplant surgery.
- Full-thickness corneal transplant (PK):
For more severely damaged corneas, a full-thickness transplant (penetrating keratoplasty, or PK) can be performed to eliminate the damaged tissue and exchange it with high-quality donor tissue. Dr. Chu will remove a circular portion from the entire thickness of the diseased cornea before positioning a healthy donor cornea in its place.
"Today after years of waiting to get LASIK I took the leap. Terrified as I was, all of the wonderful staff was amazing and kind. Dr. Chu talked me through the whole procedure, which is honestly an outstanding experience. I could not recommend Chu Vision Institute any higher! Perfect 10 :)"- M.B. / Yelp / May 04, 2021
"I came in for a Lasik consultation and Chu Vision is a well-oiled machine! Very organized and have the process of the exam and consultation down to a T. Everyone I encountered was very friendly! From the young man who checked me in at my vehicle, the exam and all the way to the end when I met with Amy Ray about scheduling and financing for Lasik. Love it and can't wait to put my eyes in your hands and get Lasik (spoiler...I'm an ideal candidate and will for sure be going to Chu Vision Institute)"- A.S. / Office Visit / Jul 14, 2021
"I had LASIK at Chu Vision last week and couldn’t recommend them highly enough. They provided a great consultation and advised on the best procedure for my eyes. Every detail (large and small) was planned for, and the whole process was very smooth. Best investment I’ve ever made!"- J.M. / Google / Apr 26, 2021
"I felt anxious at the pre op screening visit because I didn't understand how long the measuring process would take. Did I not ask enough questions? Did I not understand the explanations of the procedure? I'm not sure. But once I voiced my concern everything was explained to my complete understanding. The facility met or exceeded all the COVID protocols. It was close to home -- easy to access and had free parking. Dr. Chu was approachable and caring. Dr. Heckman was patient, caring and concerned about me as well as making sure Dr. Chu received the specs he needed to perform perfect surgery. THANK YOU!!!!"- N.C. / Office Visit / Jun 24, 2021
"I had LASIK performed by Dr. Chu and the entire experience was wonderful. All of the staff members were extremely nice and helpful - from the check in person who coordinated my visit to the tech who explained what all of the tests were and why they were needed during my evaluation appointment. Dr. Chu personally has a web call with you a few days before your surgery to ensure you do not have any other questions and are still comfortable with moving forward. The day of the surgery, Dr. Chu checks in with you right before you enter the laser room, performs the surgery himself, and then follows up immediately after by looking at your eyes to ensure everything went well. Chu Institute isn't the cheapest LASIK option, but it is clear why they are viewed as a leader in this field throughout the nation. From the knowledge and professionalism of the staff, to the attention that is received from Dr. Chu himself, to the best and latest technology to ensure the optimal results for your vision, they are worth the little extra. I personally wouldn't want my procedure done through a Groupon on a 10 year old laser system - your eyes are worth more than that."- P.P. / Google / Mar 11, 2021
Best Candidates for Cornea Transplant
You may be considered for a cornea transplant if you have any of these symptoms:
- Cloudy or blurry vision
- Corneal scarring
- A buildup of fluid within the cornea
For patients who have Fuchs' dystrophy or keratoconus, a partial- or full-thickness corneal transplant may be the best course of treatment. Dr. Chu will perform a full eye exam and review your symptoms and health history to determine whether you are a good candidate. If so, a customized treatment plan will be created to address your specific needs.
How Cornea Transplant Is Performed
Both full- and partial-thickness cornea transplants are done as outpatient procedures that last about 45 minutes to an hour. First, we will give you a mild form of anesthesia and numbing eye drops. Based on which type of corneal transplant you are having, Dr. Chu will make a tiny incision to remove either the full thickness of the cornea or just the inner (endothelial) portion, and it will be replaced with a healthy sample. For patients having a penetrating keratoplasty (full-thickness transplant), the donor tissue will be sutured into your eye. For partial-thickness transplants, stitches are typically not necessary since the incision tends to heal on its own. However, after the donor sample has been positioned into place, a gas bubble will likely be used to secure it into place.
What to Expect After a Cornea Transplant
After your cornea transplant, our staff will provide you with thorough follow-up instructions so you can recover and heal properly. The recovery process can seem long, but the good news is that cornea transplants are known for their exceedingly high success rates. Some patients experience irritation, discomfort, and watery eyes over the following few days or weeks. You can expect to begin seeing improved vision within 1 – 3 months, and your vision will continue to repair itself over the next 6 – 24 months. Since cornea transplant is not a refractive vision correction procedure, eyeglasses or contacts may still be needed to attain your clearest vision. It is important that you attend needed follow-up visits at Chu Vision Institute so Dr. Chu can monitor your healing.
Discover Your Choices
Cornea transplant surgery is a specialized procedure that can be customized to fit your specific eye health needs. At Chu Vision Institute, our team utilizes leading-edge technology to carry out precise methods for treating diseased or injured corneas, including DSEK and PK. If you have noticed blurry or worsening vision, we encourage you to contact us in Bloomington, MN to schedule an appointment with Dr. Chu and find out your options to obtain improved eyesight.